Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohammed Kamel cautioned yesterday that important aspects of Egypt's position on a Middle East peace settlement cannot be compromised.
Responding to President Carter's comments to a group of editors Friday, Kamel said Carter's suggestion that the United States is ready to offer "compromise proposals" to break an Egyptian-Israeli deadlock was "not very encouraging."
The fundamental of Egypt's position - total Israeli withdrawal from the occupied Arab territories and recognition of Palestinian rights - "have been accepted by the international community, by the United Nations, by everybody . . . so there are things that cannot be really the subject of compromise," Kamel said.
In his remarks to the editors, Carter indicated that the Egyptian proposals that are to be transmitted soon by the United States probably will not be acceptable to Israel in their entirety. If that is the case, he said the United States will try to arrange a meeting of Israeli and Egyptian foreign ministers to present a compromise U.S. plan.
Kamel's response, made to reporters after an Arab league meeting was cool and cautious, but observers here agreed that thereis no likelihoodof a compromise on the territorial issue that Egypt would [WORD ILLEGIBLE] perhaps on the timing of Israel's withdrawal.
If Carter's statement was [WORD ILLEGIBLE] to put pressure on Israel, as reports from Washington said it was [WORD ILLEGIBLE] contained elements that caused concern here. These are considered contain to be a major topic of converstation when Vice President Walter Mondale meets Egyptian President Anwar Sadat in Alexandria today. Egypt has been looking forward to Mondale's visit with optimism.
Egypt also has been waiting anxiously for the United States to recognize that the peace talks are going no where because of what the Egyptians regard as Israeli intransigence, and to step in with its own ideas. The Egyptians believe that since carter's stated views are much closer to Egypt's position than to Israel's any movement by the United States will be helpful to the Egyptian side.
"We have always called for more American participation," Kamel said, "but this word of compromise is not very encouraging."
Kamel did not respond favorably to any of the possible moves outlined by Carter. He said he had not been invited to meet Israeli Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan under American auspices, and he did not comment directly on the possibility of a new Geneva conference, which carter suggested as a "fallbck position" if all else fails.
Officially, the Egyptians are willing to go to Geneva. But they regard resumption of those talks as an invitation to the Soviet Union, as Geneva conference co-chairman, to reenter the Middle East negotiating game, and they fear it for that reason.
The next thing that should happen now, Kamel said, is that Egypt formally present its peace proposals to the Americans for transmittal to Israel. Kamel said he hopes this package will be ready in "a few days."
He declined to accept Carter's prediction that it would be rejected by Israel.
Kamel confirmed press accounts of outlines of the peace proposals. Egypt the outlines of the peace proposals. Egypt will ask that the West bank and the Gaza Strip be returned to Jordanian and Egyptian military control, respectively, after which Israel and teh Arabs will discuss "security arrangements." The future of the Palestinians would be decided later.
It does seem that this approach is the opposite of what the Israelis are seeking, but Kamel stuck to his "wait and see" approach.
"When it becomes clear that it is no use, that Israel will not amend its stance, then we will find another way," he said.